Police in Italy have seized an estimated 37 million painkillers which they suspect were being shipped to Libya to be sold to ISIS fighters who take them during battle.
The pills are understood to be tramadol, the painkiller which some use as a cheap alternative to cocaine.
It’s thought the tablets are frequently sold to ISIS fighters for about $2 each, meaning the haul was worth in the region of $75 million to whoever was planning to push them.
The tablets were found hidden in three containers in the port of Genoa. They were labelled as blankets and shampoo on a vessel destined for Misrata and Tobruk, Libya.
“Isis is making a fortune from this traffic, giving it to its fighters to make them feel no pain,” an Italian investigator told the Times of London.
Italian investigators have traced the tramadol shipment to an Indian pharmaceuticals company called Royal International, which has not commented.
It allegedly sold the pills for $250,000 to a Dubai-based importer. They then went from India to Sri Lanka where they disappeared from the ship’s documents.
“The containers were then shipped to Genoa, ready to be delivered to two companies in Libya, which the US Drug Enforcement Administration has informed us are linked to Isis,” the investigator said.
Terror groups routinely encourage the use of a wide variety of drugs by their foot soldiers.
Those who attacked the Bataclan music club in Paris in 2013, slaughtering 89 people, were said to be high on the amphetamine Captagon. It suppresses hunger, fear and fatigue.